Mildred at Italy
7:30 p.m., Friday
At Gladiator Coliseum
Records: Class 3A DII Mildred 2-1, 0-0 in District 7-3A. Class 2A DI Cayuga 3-0, 0-0 in District 8-3A
Players to Watch: Mildred: DL Tyrone Williams, RB/LB Ian Stewart, K Kadence Cline, OL/DL Logan Hancock; Italy: RB Jaiden Barr, QB Jayden Saxon, WR Colt Horn
Update: The Mildred Eagles have had a strong start to the season but face a real test this week against the Italy Gladiators. The Eagles have struggled offensively but have done enough to win, eking out a victory last Friday beating the Kerens Bobcats 8-7 in Kerens. The Eagles controlled the ball for most of the game and had two drives stall deep in Bobcat territory early in the game and were only able to score in the waning seconds of the game setting up a two-point conversion to win the game.
The Eagles had seven starters out to start the game but dominated the ball defensively and did just enough on offense to win. Daniel Ayers really carried the team offensively rushing for 139 yards while passing for 65 yards. Ian Stewart provided a change of pace running the ball rushed for 37 yards. Sammy Bustos and Kain Holliman both had big catches late.
On the defensive side of the ball, Tyrone Williams turned in another solid outing, coming up with a big sack late. Ian Stewart and freshman Austin Wing seemed to always be around the ball making tackles. Ozzy Monctezuma and Sammy Bustos along with Ayers had big games in the secondary and really limited the Bobcats wide receivers.
Special teams have been an adventure for the Eagles this year. Bustos is solid at punter averaging 33 yards per punt, but the Eagles have yet to attempt an extra point in three games. This may change this week. Kadence Cline, Arianna Neason, and Kennedy Gosdin tried out for the team last week making the team. Cline performed kick-off duties during the game doing well, and all three were prepared for field goal and extra point duties if called upon and have really shored up a weakness for the Eagles.
The Gladiators have cruised through the early part of this season beating Rice 35-7 last week. Jaiden Barr is a dominant runner for the Gladiators. He rushed last week for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jayden Saxon is another standout player for the Gladiators at quarterback. He threw for 77 yards while running for another 22 yards scoring 2 touchdowns.
The Gladiators will be a tough test for the Eagles who are still shorthanded but if the Eagles defense keeps playing the way they have; they will put the Eagles in a position to win.
The Eagles expected to rely on their offensive attack with Bishop Harris returning as all-state running back and a talented group of receivers. So far, the Eagles have struggled to move the ball, but Coach Dalton is confident they will find traction and the Eagles could be dangerous if they keep playing defense the way they are and start playing to their potential on offense.